Have you ever tried a beer and thought wow? This beer exceeds all expectations. Your taste buds are tingling, you are blown away with flavours, textures and smells. But there is a problem, you are on your jollies abroad, so can you get this back in your country? No? How are you ever going to relive the taste sensation you have just experienced while sat in your own living room watching crap TV?
This is a problem that I have faced and conquered. I managed to get myself to the USA two years ago. Before visiting I made sure I had sorted all the relevant, important issues out, Like the nearest bar, local beer and the must tries while I was out there. Like I said, the important things in life!
Whilst out there I had my trusty personal checklist. I slowly ticked them off one by one, including Duff Beer, in Springfield! Even if you’re not a fan of The Simpsons, you’ll probably still recognise this beer brand!
The Whole Foods Market chain runs throughout the States and came highly recommended. Whilst there I was taken aback with the wide selection and variety, supplying both local and state-wide beer. This supermarket even features a beer deli, a bit like a deli where you can sample cheese and meats! You could actually sample freshly kegged beers, Heaven right? In the hot American climate, walking into a bright, clean and most importantly cold (air-conditioned) supermarket to find a beer deli… hell yeah! I was home!
Whilst browsing and sampling the long list of randomly named, weird-looking beers, I stumbled across one that was on offer. It caught my eye with its bright green can and orange 4-pack holder. Jai Alai, I had never heard of it, neither was it on my list of must tries, but it was local and on offer, why not?
I got back to my apartment and cracked a can. Now this may get a little graphic, I hope, otherwise its a lot of text for a basic description!
The can opened with a click and a clack. Instantly this fresh citrus orangey aroma filled the air. It was as if somebody had just peeled an orange in the same room. This stopped me in my tracks. I sniffed the can a little closer, orange, mango and pineapple. All the smells you want out of a fresh fruit salad. I remember thinking to myself, hang on, what is this!?
My first sip, time stood still. Seconds turned into minutes. People around the complex carried on their lives, yet mine somehow stood still. Witch craft? Wizardry? No. Bloody amazing beer! Fresh fruits as good as it smelt, oranges, mangos, pineapples and melon all in one mouthful. Was this it? Was this a life changing beer that showed me the way to a brighter, beery future? I think it was!
With every mouthful the flavours got better, cleaner and I could pick out more and more flavour with every drop. I managed to find bars with it on draft, shops with it bottled and sandwich shops with it canned. I had found my American nectar and I was hooked!
Now flash forward two years, This taste sensation is something I have been longing for. Every person I know who visits America, I ask them to find it. To bring some back for me, even just four measly cans! I will pay handsomely! Yet nobody ever brought me any back!
Now, Monday just gone, one of my favourite pubs posted on social media a picture of theJai Alai pump clip. Jesus! When I read this my heart stopped and my mouth watered. This was it, my chance to have it back in the UK!
One problem, I was working crazy shifts all week and wouldn’t get chance to get there and on the Saturday morning, I’d be flying out to the canaries (I’m currently writing this on the plane). So what do I do?? Friday night I have off so there is only one option. After my Thursday night shift and with only a few hours sleep… with packing and housework outstanding, I did the unimaginable. I annoyed she who must be obeyed and ventured into the city. Believe me, I had a few short sharp texts when I revealed what I was doing. In case you’re worried about my relationship status, she still loves me. I explained the almost religious experience I’d had with this beer and all was forgiven.
I had already messaged ahead my main man Chris at the pub, asking if he could fill a growler for me. When he said yes, I took two. I was in and out with in 15 minutes, I had two growlers filled with my American nectar. I had so much to do and all I wanted to do was get home and pour it for a taste! Things to do, so this had to wait!
9 hours pass and I have free time, this to me was a monumental moment. This beer, that had made me stop in my tracks, that had stopped time and took my breathe away, was finally in my house!
I cracked the lid and it popped. A great sign that the growler had done its job and kept the lovely carbonation. Again, the air filled with the very same wonderful fruit salad aroma. I took a sip and I was complete. A few months old, and one of only three kegs within the UK, I felt privileged. Happy and so complete. It was amazing. It is safe to say that this beer is in my eyes ultimately amazing. It ticks every single box and it got my highest rating of 5 stars on Untappd. Please guys (and ladies), if you see Jai Alai, try it. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!
To record this moment in my life, I opted for a live YouTube feed. You catch the footage below.
Take care you beautiful lot!. X